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Pray For The Soul Of Betty

Pray For The Soul Of Betty Biography

New York City-based neo-grunge band Pray for the Soul of Betty formed in 2003. Brazilian-born guitarist Joao Joya previously teamed with drummer Michael Hambroussi in the little-known Cohiba, with ba**ist Taylor C.R. (Hambroussi's colleague in another short-lived act, Clyde) completing the founding lineup. So named in honor of Taylor's deceased aunt, Pray for the Soul of Betty soon held a series of auditions to select a frontman. After rejecting some 150 other applicants, the trio selected Constantine Maroulis, an aspiring singer and actor best known for his contributions to the 2000 musical Suburban Dreams. In late 2003, Maroulis was cast in the traveling company of the Broadway blockbuster Rent, and Pray for the Soul of Betty mounted a concurrent U.S. tour, playing club dates after their frontman wrapped his nightly thespian duties. In summer 2004, Maroulis traveled to Washington, D.C., to audition for Fox television's hit talent search showcase American Idol. As the series wore on, he emerged as a fan favorite and household name, receiving more than 35 million audience votes before he was voted off the program on April 27, 2005. American Idol's enormous popularity also elevated the profile of Pray for the Soul of Betty, and in spring 2005, the Koch label released the band's self-titled debut LP, a compilation of tracks recorded over the previous two years. However, Maroulis' fame far eclipsed the group's, and after his solo appearances on the various-artists collections American Idol Season 4: The Showstoppers and k**er Queen: A Tribute to Queen, he announced his official exit from Pray for the Soul of Betty in March 2006, citing creative differences. ~ Jason Ankeny, All Music Guide

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